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Mike Pakowski writesCHIRP Radio Best of 2014: Mike Pakowski

CHIRP Radio Best of 2014

Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2014. Our next list is from DJ, Promotions Director and Board Member Mike Pakowski.


#1More Than Any Other Day by Ought (Constellation)
Ought More Than Any Other DayBUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

Art-punk from a group inspired by the 'Maple Spring' protests that took place while they were students in Montreal. More Than Any Other Day is a glorious mix of intelligence, tension, and despair with a slight touch of humor that kept my head bobbing all year long.

#2St. Vincent by St. Vincent (Loma Vista)
St. Vincent St. VincentBUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

It was Annie Clark's year and we were just along for the incredible ride. From her fantastic SNL performance, to her Pitchfork Music Festival domination, St. Vincent deserves every accolade bestowed upon her. St. Vincent the album is otherworldly from start to finish, and 'Birth In Reverse' is one of the best songs I've heard in the last ten years.

#3Run The Jewels 2 by Run The Jewels (Mass Appeal)
Run The Jewels Run The Jewels 2BUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

There is no one doing it better than El-P and Killer Mike. RTJ2 is an absolute masterpiece, and each and every listen blew my mind. 'Run The Jewels is the answer, the question is What's Poppin'?'

#4LP1 by FKA twigs (Young Turks)
FKA twigs LP1BUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

A beautiful record that features soulful and revealing lyrics, backed by beats that perfectly compliment the honest emotions that pour out of FKA twigs.

#5Through Force of Will by Torn Hawk (Not Not Fun)
Torn Hawk Through Force of WillBUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

Experimental artist Luke Wyatt put out one of the most unique albums of the year as Torn Hawk. Through Force of Will was part chillwave, part soundtrack to an 80's film, and part indescribable. I really enjoyed the strangeness of this record.

#6It's Album Time by Todd Terje (Olsen)
Todd Terje It's Album TimeBUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

For me this was the coolest record of the year. So much fun to listen to. It's Album Time sounds like it would make for a great soundtrack to a dance party on a tropical island or on Mars. It's crazy, it's hilarious. Thank you Todd Terje!

#7Mr Twin Sister by Mr Twin Sister (Infinite Best/Twin Group)
Mr Twin Sister Mr Twin SisterBUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

The band formerly known as Twin Sister put out a gorgeous sounding record that seamlessly makes you want to chill one minute, and dance the next. Check out track #2 'Rude Boy' for further explanation.

#8After the End by Merchandise (4AD)
Merchandise After the EndBUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

I said I wasn't going to fall for another 80's-sounding pop-rock record, but I couldn't resist. This album sounds great, and I enjoyed the new direction Merchandise went with After the End.

#9Under Color of Official Right by Protomartyr (Hardly Art)
Protomartyr Under Color of Official RightBUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

A dark, powerful record. Singer Joe Casey's brooding vocals are what sold me on Under Color of Official Right.

#10Neuroplasticity by Cold Specks (Mute/Arts & Crafts)
Cold Specks NeuroplasticityBUY: Reckless / Permanent / iTunes / Insound / Amazon

Neuroplasticity had me at 'Broken Memory', the album's haunting, opening track. A roller coaster of sound accompanied by the unique, powerful voice of Al Spx.

Honorable Mentions:

D'Angelo/The Vanguard - Black Messiah

Viet Cong - Cassette EP

Sleaford Mods - Divide and Exit

Ex Hex - Rips

Pharmakon - Bestial Burden

Songs of the Year:

St. Vincent - 'Birth In Reverse'

Caribou - 'Can't Do Without You'

FKA twigs - 'Two Weeks'

Run The Jewels - 'Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)'  (feat. Zack De La Rocha)

Ought - 'Today More Than Any Other Day'


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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2014

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